A Florida man is suing several makers of Zantac alleging the drug contained a probable cancer-causing impurity and that his long-term use of the heartburn medication caused him to develop bladder cancer, Law & Crime reports.
Douglas Rochler, 49, filed the lawsuit in federal court in the Southern District of Florida along with his wife Anna Maria Rochler. The suit names as defendants Sanofi-Aventis U.S. LLC, and associated companies, GlaxoSmithKline LLC, GlaxoSmithKline PLC (GSK), and Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc. Rochler’s lawsuit claims that “Zantac is defective, dangerous to human health, unfit, and unsuitable to be marketed and sold in commerce, and lacked proper warnings and directions as to the dangers associated with its use.”
Zantac, which contains the active ingredient ranitidine, is manufactured by Sanofi-Aventis. Several other companies manufacture generic versions of the drug. Ranitidine is sold both over-the-counter and by prescription.
On Sept. 13, 2019, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that some Zantac medicines were found to contain N-nitrosodimethylamine, or NDMA, a probable human carcinogen. Dozens of ranitidine products were recalled as the FDA further examined test results on the drugs.
On April 1, the FDA ordered the removal of all products containing ranitidine from the U.S. market after determining that levels of NDMA could increase significantly under normal storage conditions such as when the drug was exposed to higher temperatures. Furthermore, the older a ranitidine product is, or the longer it sat on store shelves or consumers’ medicine cabinets, the greater the level of NDMA. These conditions could cause NDMA to rise above what the FDA considers safe for daily consumption. Exposure to NDMA has been found to induce tumors in laboratory animals.
According to Rochler’s lawsuit, Rochler took Zantac four to five times a week from 2014 until September 2019, when the FDA first alerted about the presence of the probable carcinogen in Zantac. “As a direct and proximate result,” his lawsuit states, Rochler “developed bladder cancer and underwent multiple surgeries from June 2017 through November 2018, including a transurethral resection of his bladder tumor and radical cystectomy with neobladder.”
Rochler’s lawsuit claims that Sanofi-Aventis, GSK, and Boehringer Ingelheim “actively concealed, and continue to actively conceal the increased exposure to NDMA and risk of cancer associated with Zantac.”
If you or a loved one was a regular user of Zantac and have been diagnosed with cancer, we would like to talk with you. Beasley Allen attorneys Frank Woodson and Lisa Courson are actively investigating potential claims involving regular Zantac/ranitidineuse that may have led to cancer of the stomach, colon, intestines, kidneys, bladder or pancreas. If you or a loved one may have been affected, please contact us.